Tag Archives: sports injury

Cuboid Dysfunction Pain

Summary

  • The Cuboid is a square shaped bone which lies between your heel and the 5th metatarsal.
  • Cuboid dysfunction pain can result if this bone and the surrounding joints are subject to repeated trauma and cause intermittent pain.

How did I get this?

  • The way that you walk, or if you have a high arched, or excessively flat foot can cause cuboid dysfunction. There is not usually a specific injury. The joints around the cuboid become inflamed and cause the pain.

What can I do about it?

  • Rest, ice packs, and soft cushioning footwear may be helpful.
  • Short term antiinflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen may relieve symptoms.

What help can I get for this?

  • A podiatrist will assist with footwear advice or modification, strapping, padding, orthotics, or joint mobilisation.

When will it get better?

  • With the correct support and reduction in activity you can expect an improvement over 6-8 weeks.

Acute Compartment Syndrome

Summary

  • It is a condition where there is excessive pressure in the muscle compartment of the foot following fracture or injury. This can lead to tissue damage and requires immediate emergency attention. The pain is generally far in excess of what would be expected.

How did I get this?

  • If there is fracture or injury in the foot, there can be swelling which compresses the muscle compartment and may lead to severe pain, swelling and tissue damage.

What can I do about it?

  • Rest the area affected.
  • Elevate the feet above the heart to promote blood flow and aid in the inflammation.
  • Seek emergency medical attention.

What help can I get for this?

  • See your podiatrist or doctor without delay.
  • Will usually result in hospital admission and surgery.

When will it get better?

  • Conservative treatment options have not been shown to be effective for this condition.
  • Surgical intervention to relieve the pressure will be a better option for better and fast healing.

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Achilles Tendinopathy

Summary

  • Achilles Tendinopathy is a condition where there is pain, swelling, stiffness, and weakness in your Achilles tendon.
  • It is caused by repeated tiny injuries in this area.
  • Pain develops gradually especially in the morning upon waking up but is worse during rest after exercise.

How did I get this?

  • Achilles tendon is important part of your leg which is found behind and above your heel. It joins the heel bone to your calf muscles. This helps to bend your foot downwards at the ankle. Overuse of tendons, wearing inappropriate footwear during exercise, poor flexibility, and increased intensity of exercise can result to injury in your Achilles tendon. Other causes include arthritis and long-term use of some antibiotics (e.g. Ciprofloxacin).

What can I do about it?

  • Rest and avoid strenuous exercise (such as running). As you improve, you can restart exercise gradually.
  • Cold compress (ice pack) will help to decrease swelling and control the pain.
  • Compression using bandage can also minimize pain and aid in reducing the inflammation.
  • Elevate the injured area above the heart while sitting.
  • For prevention, make sure you stretch before and after exercise.
  • Short term use of anti-inflammatory drugs can be helpful to decrease the pain.

What help can I get for this?

  • A podiatrist for special heel pads to wear in the shoes for cushion and support, and a program of special exercises for the strengthening of the injured tendons.
  • Footwear advice or modification and possible orthoses to relieve strain on the Achilles tendon.
  • A surgeon, if symptoms do not improve after 3 to 6 months, might proceed with surgical repair of the tendons.

When will it get better?

  • Symptoms usually clear within 3 to 6 months of starting nonsurgical treatment (as described above). The earlier the diagnosis and treatment, the better the outcome.

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Accessory Navicular

Summary

  • Accessory Navicular is a condition where the Navicular bone has developed in two pieces.
  • You have a painful lump on the inside of your foot, usually aggravated by shoes rubbing on it.
  • It can be difficult to walk far, or on uneven surfaces, and climbing stairs or ladders is a real pain.
  • Your ski boots or hiking boots are killing you.

How did I get this?

  • The accessory navicular is an extra bone in your foot, of which there can be many in addition to the 26 bones we usually expect to find there. It is thought to develop in teenage years as your skeleton hardens and finishes growing.
  • This can become painful due to irritation from footwear, unusually high levels of activity, or recent weight gain.

What can I do about it?

  • Wearing shoes that do not irritate the area is the first step. You can add padding around the area or inside your shoe. Reduce your activity so that the bone is not irritated. Lose weight to reduce the stress on the bone.

What help can I get for this?

  • A podiatrist can help with footwear advice or padding for the lump. You may also get some relief by using orthotics which are designed to reduce the stress on the bone.
  • A surgeon can remove the bone, but only after all other options have been tried. Surgery can take 9-12 months to recover fully.

When will it get better?

  • After pressure and stress are reduced on the bone you should start to feel relief quickly.
  • Continued use of appropriate footwear and padding or support should result in more prolonged improvement.

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Turf Toe

Summary

  • It is simply a sprain of the ligaments around the big toe joint. It’s a condition that’s caused by jamming the big toe or repeatedly pushing off the big toe forcefully as in running and jumping. The most common symptoms of turf toe include pain, swelling, and limited joint movement at the base of one big toe. The symptoms develop slowly and gradually get worse over time if it’s caused by repetitive injury. If it’s caused by a sudden forceful motion, the injury can be painful immediately and worsen within 24 hours. Sometimes when the injury occurs, a “pop” can be felt. Usually the entire joint is involved, and toe movement is limited.

How did I get this?

  • The name “turf toe” comes from the fact that this injury is especially common among athletes who play on artificial turf. When playing sports on artificial turf the foot can stick to the hard surface, resulting in jamming of the big toe joint. There has also been some indication that less-supportive flexible shoes worn on artificial turf are also to blame.

What can I do about it?

  • Initial treatments include rest, ice, compression, and elevation. (RICE), as well as a change to less-flexible footwear.
  • Podiatry consultation for further management.

What help can I get for this?

  • Podiatrist may use measures to limit great toe motion such as stiff soled shoes, or a cam walker to protect the injured tissue while it heals.
  • Podiatrist may consider taping the big toe and using a Morton’s extension splint may be beneficial in protecting the toe.
  • Orthopaedic surgeon for surgical correction if nonoperative approach does not work with the symptoms.

When will it get better?

  • In many cases, if adequate compliance is achieved, conservatively and surgically treated patients can return to their preinjury level of function. However, some disability is possible with either form of treatment.

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Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome

Summary

  • The tarsal tunnel is located inside the ankle next to the ankle bones. Its job is to protect veins, arteries, tendons and nerves. When this tibial nerve is squeezed, or compressed, it results in a condition called tarsal tunnel syndrome (TTS). Many patients experience a tingling or burning sensation inside the ankle or in the sole of the foot while others experience pain in the ankle, heel, toes, arch, and even up the calf.

How did I get this?

  • There is no one specific cause for tarsal tunnel syndrome, but inflammation is the most recognized reason for TTS. Since the tibial nerve is encased in the tarsal tunnel, anything that takes up extra room like inflammation causes swelling in the tissues and puts pressure on the nerve.

What can I do about it?

  • Rest may be suggested to control the symptoms initially.
  • Ice or heat treatment.
  • Activity modification.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications help reduce the inflammation and swelling of the tissues around the tibial nerve.
  • See a podiatrist.

What help can I get for this?

  • Podiatrist may prescribe padding or strapping, specialized orthotics to relieve the symptoms, and give footwear advice.
  • Orthopedic surgeon for surgical management if nonoperative approach fails.
  • Physical therapy for specialized strengthening exercise for up to eight weeks after surgery.

When will it get better?

  • An improvement in your symptoms may take about 2-3 months.
  • Surgery causes release of pressure on the nerve, so by the time the sutures are removed you may already have had relief of your symptoms.

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Stress Fracture

Summary

  • Stress Fracture occurs when excessive repetitive force is applied to a localized area of bone. Activities such as walking, running, and repeated jumping can subject the bones of the foot to large forces that often lead to microscopic cracks in the bone.

How did I get this?

  • Generally, it is repetitive stress (i.e. running, marching, sport etc.) although some bone diseases can pre-dispose to thin bones which therefore fracture more easily. In people with osteoporosis (thinning of the bone) there is an increased risk of stress fracture.

What can I do about it?

  • Rest the area and stop sporting activity.
  • Wear good fitting shoes with adequate support and cushioning.
  • Avoid high heels.
  • You can try a protective pad.
  • See a podiatrist.

What help can I get for this?

  • Podiatrist may advise appropriate shoes, consider prescribing orthotics, consider immobilisation, and advise on surgery.

When will it get better?

  • In the majority of cases, conservative care allows the bone to heal and normal activity can then be resumed. Surgery is sometimes necessary to stabilise the fracture site which allows longer time to resume activity.

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Severs Disease

Summary

  • Severs Disease is a painful inflammation of the heel’s growth plate. It typically affects children between the ages of 8 to 14 years old, because the heel bone is not fully developed until at least age 14. When there is too much repetitive stress on the growth plate, inflammation can develop. Symptoms include pain in the back or bottom of the heel, limping, walking on toes, and difficulty running or jumping.

How did I get this?

  • Overuse and stress on the heel bone through participation in sports is a major cause. The heel’s growth plate is sensitive to repeated running and pounding on hard surfaces, resulting in muscle strain and inflamed tissue. For this reason, children and adolescents involved in soccer/football, running, or basketball are especially vulnerable.

What can I do about it?

  • Rest.
  • Ice pack application.
  • Calf and hamstring stretches.
  • See a podiatrist.

What help can I get for this?

  • Podiatrist will confirm the diagnosis and advise appropriate shoes, exercises, and orthotics.

When will it get better?

  • Use of orthotics and supportive footwear usually provide relief within a few weeks.
  • The condition is self-limiting. Once the growth plate has closed the condition will resolve.

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Retrocalcaneal bursitis

Summary

  • Retrocalcaneal bursitis is a condition characterized by tissue damage and inflammation of the retrocalcaneal bursa (a small fluid filled sac located at the back of the heel) causing heel pain. Risk factors include poor foot biomechanics (particularly flat feet), inappropriate footwear (e.g. excessively tight fitting shoes).  Muscle weakness or tightness (particularly the calf, quadriceps and gluteals), joint stiffness (particularly the ankle or foot), and bony anomalies of the heel bone should be considered. External factors where there is overuse or or a change in conditions or activity are often a factor.

How did I get this?

  • Compressive forces and friction may be placed on the retrocalcaneal bursa during certain ankle movements or by wearing excessively tight shoes. When these forces are excessive due to too much repetition or high force, irritation and inflammation of the bursa may occur.

What can I do about it?

  • Rest.
  • Massaging the calf muscles.
  • Stretching.
  • Ice packs.
  • Seek podiatry consultation.

What help can I get for this?

  • Podiatrist may prescribe padding or strapping, appropriate footwear/modification, exercises, or orthotics
  • Orthopaedic surgeon for surgical removal of bone spur (if present), removing the thickened inflamed retrocalcaneal bursa, and debriding the Achilles tendon.

When will it get better?

  • This condition usually gets better in several weeks with the proper treatment.

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Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction

Summary

  • Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD) is an injury involving overstretching or rupturing of the posterior tibial tendon, leading to tendon inflammation, weakness, foot deformity and arthritis. The posterior tibial tendon extends from the deep layer of muscle at the back of your leg. It runs along the inside of your ankle and down the inside of your foot to underneath your arch. This tendon, along with some strong stabilising ligaments, is one of the major supporting structures of the foot. In PTTD, the tendon’s ability to perform that job is impaired, often resulting in a collapsed arch or ‘flat foot’. PTTD is the most common type of flat foot developed during adulthood, and is also known as adult-acquired flat foot.
  • Symptoms include pain and swelling on the inside of your ankle which grows worse with increasing activity, tenderness over the midfoot especially during activity, weakness or an inability to stand on your toes, a collapsed arch and development of a flat foot, and gradually developing pain on the outer side of your ankle.

How did I get this?

  • Often occurs in women over 50 years of age and may be due to an inherent abnormality of the tendon. But there are several other risk factors which include obesity, diabetes, hypertension, previous surgery or trauma, inflammatory diseases, and arthritis. The tendon may also become inflamed if excessive force is placed on the foot, such as when running on a banked track or road.

What can I do about it?

 

  • Rest.
  • Short term nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.

What help can I get for this?

  • Podiatrist may advise immobilization of the foot for six to eight weeks with a removable boot to prevent overuse.
  • Podiatrist may prescribe shoe inserts such as a heel wedge or arch support.
  • Podiatrist may recommend that you use a custom-made orthotic or support.
  • Foot and ankle surgeon for surgical management such as tendon repair or ankle joint fusion if conservative treatments don’t work.
  • A program of exercises and therapy to help rehabilitate the tendon and muscle following immobilization.

When will it get better?

  • The success of nonoperative treatment first requires the assessment of the flexibility of the flatfoot deformity. It is common for a patient to take 4-6 months to achieve much of their recovery and 12-18 months before they reach their point of maximal improvement after surgery.

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